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Tuesday, 26 August 2014 17:09

Hamas and Israel Agree to Extended Gaza Cease-Fire

Written by  FARES AKRAM and JODI RUDOREN | The New York Times
Palestinians inspecting the damage to the Italian Complex after several late night Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. Palestinians inspecting the damage to the Italian Complex after several late night Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. Khalil Hamra/Associated Press

GAZA CITY — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday reached a long-term cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting, according to officials on both sides, halting the longest, bloodiest battle either side has experienced in years — but without resolving many of the bigger issues underlying the conflict.

“Israel has once again accepted an Egyptian proposal for a complete cease-fire,” a senior Israeli official said on the condition of anonymity. “This cease-fire is unlimited in time.”

Shouts of “God is great” rang out from mosque loudspeakers across Gaza City, as people fired gunshots into the air to celebrate.

“We declare the victory of the Palestinian resistance, the victory of Gaza,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the militant Hamas movement that dominates Gaza and led the Palestinian militants’ operation, announced at a news conference at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. “We achieved some of our instantaneous demands out of this battle.”

The agreement came on the 50th day of a conflict that has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings across Gaza, displacing at least a third of its 1.7 million residents. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and five civilians were killed – the last one even as the cease-fire was being announced, as mortar rounds from Gaza struck near a swimming pool on a kibbutz just beyond its border.

Continue reading on The New York Times

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